Archive for the ‘3rd Sunday’ Category

The First Disciples of Jesus 1-26-2020

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

The time was now. Jesus decided he was ready to choose his
twelve apostles. Just advertising in the newspapers didn’t seem
thorough enough. So Jesus decided to hold an Olympics from which the
twelve would be chosen. The people came from all over. The
competition was fierce. Jesus had to judge all the events.
First came the prayer event. People had practiced and it showed in
the speed with which they could recite the words. Some articulated the
words with utmost precision. Some used big impressive words. Still
others expressed lofty ideas. But when it came time for a winner to be
selected, Jesus chose none. There didn’t see to be any heart in their
prayers. They were just words.
Second came the worship event. These contestants, too, had done
their homework. Some wore beautiful garments. Some used lots of
incense. Some emphasized music. Others incorporated gestures. But
again, when it was selection time, there was no winner. There didn’t
seem to be any heart in worship. It was too showy. Third came the teaching event. This was a prepared group. Some
came with elaborate posters. Some came with long, well ordered talks.
Some came with DVD players. Others came with their small groups to
demonstrate process. Again, no winners. There was no heart in
teaching. The methods seemed more important.
So, the Olympics ended. No winners, no apostles. Exhausted after
his long exasperating ordeal, Jesus went down to the lake to cool off and
relax. Then the miracle happened. He saw people fishing. Now there
were some people who put their hearts into what they were about. So he
chose them!
Remember… the first disciples of Jesus were ordinary people.
They weren’t great public speakers, scholars, kings or saints. They
weren’t presidents, theologians or ordained ministers. They were
fishermen. A tax collector. Common field workers. Who, by God’s
power, and their openness, made great things happen! What about us –
Could great things happen through us? Yes — By God’s Power and Our
Openness!

Make Time To Laugh 12-15-19

Sunday, December 15th, 2019

Many of you have seen the show TV Bloopers, they are hilarious.
I have read about newspaper bloopers, how one word can change so
much. I would like to share with you some parish bulletin bloopers. I
think they are great!
Don’t let worry kill you – Let the Church help.
Thursday Night – Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to
follow.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and
community.
This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends
of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward
and lay an egg on the altar.
The service will close with “Little Drops of Water.” The cantor
will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of
the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new
carpet will come forward and do so.
The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They
can be seen in the church basement Saturday.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall.
Music will follow.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is
Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.
I started my homily this week with these because I have
experienced so many people stressed, anxious, grumpy, mostly over
getting ready for Christmas. This Sunday (formerly called Guadete
Sunday – Rejoice) with its pink candle reminds us that no matter how
dark it might be in our lives, that no matter how anxious or grumpy we
might feel, for whatever reason, no matter how depressing the world
situation might be – the light, the joy of God will never leave us. We
need to hold on to this Good News and we need to rejoice today. We need to smile – we need to laugh – right in the face of hard times.
Maybe this will help:
The late great humorist, Erma Bombeck, told the story of what
happened to her in Church one Sunday…
“I was intent on a small child who was turning around and smiling
at everyone. He wasn’t gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the
hymnals, or rummaging through his mother’s handbag. He was just
smiling.
“Finally his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that
could be heard in a little theater off Broadway said, ‘Stop that Grinning!
You’re in Church!’ With that, she gave him a belt and, as the tears
rolled down his cheek, she added, ‘That’s better,’ and returned to her
prayers. We sing, ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!’ while our faces
reflect the sadness of one who has just buried a rich Aunt who left
everything to her pregnant hamster.
“Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me the entire world is in
tears, and if your not, than you’d better get with it. I wanted to grab this
child with the tear stained face close to me and tell him about My God.
The happy God. The smiling God. The God who had to have a sense of
humor to have created the likes of us. I wanted to tell him he is an
understanding God. One who understands little children who turn
around and smile in church, and even curious little children who
rummage through their mothers’ handbags. I wanted to tell that little
child that I too have taken a few lumps for daring to smile in an
otherwise solemn religious setting.
“By tradition, I suppose, one wears Faith with the solemnity of a
mourner, the mask of tragedy. What a fool, I thought, this woman
sitting next to the only sign of hope – the only miracle – left in our
civilization. If that child couldn’t smile in church, where was there left
to go?”
Let me close with this: There is an organization of business people
who donate their time visiting hospitals – especially children’s hospitals.
They go to these hospitals as working “Clowns” – here is a portion of
their special prayer:
“Lord, as I stumble through this life, help me to create more
laughter than tears, dispense more happiness than gloom, spread more
cheer than despair. Never let me grow so big that I will fail to see the
wonder in the eyes of a child, or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.
Never let me forget that I am a clown, that my work is to cheer people
up, make them happy, and make them laugh. And in my final moment,
may I hear you whisper, ‘When you made my people smile, you made
me smile!’”
Finally, when you are going over your gift list, don’t forget these
gifts:
1. The gift of laughter
2. The gift of a smile
3. The gift of joy brought on by a phone call, card, or a short
visit
4. A sense of healthy humor
5. Giving a gift to ourselves – not to take ourselves too
seriously.
With that in mind, what do you get when you cross a praying
mantis with a termite? – A bug that says grace before it eats your house.
Thank you. (REJOICE)

Do You Love Me? 5-5-2019

Sunday, May 5th, 2019

Our Gospel this Sunday reminds us again of some powerful good
news. It’s what I call the episode of the second chance. Now it is
important that you remember who was there in those boats. Jesus’
disciples. You know, the ones who fled when he was arrested. The
ones who, when he needed a bit of comfort, fell asleep on him. The ones
who, when the going got tough, abandoned him. And there, too, was
Peter, the leader, who figures so prominently in this story. He was there.
Remember, he denied even knowing Jesus.
It is to these that Jesus appears. And he has a question. And it is
urgently important that we realize what the question is not. His question
is not “What have you done?” His question is not “Who were you in the
past?” His question is not “Have you reformed?” His question is not
“Do you remember your sins?” His question has nothing to do with the
past and everything to do with the present. His question is simply “Here
and now, do you love me?”
“Do you love me?” That’s all Jesus is interested in. Let bygones
be bygones. Let sins be forgotten. Let mistakes be put aside. Let 2
stupidities be buried. Let hurts be unrecorded. Let betrayals be
unmentioned. All that matters is, “Right here, right now, do you love
me?”
Can you sense the drama of this very personal gospel, the absolute
forgiveness implied in the question, the total love of the Questioner?
Can’t you sense that this gospel lives? That on this Sunday morning, at
this liturgy, here and now, Someone is asking the only question that
matters in your life and mine. He is asking, “Do you love me?” It’s the
gift of the second chance. Never mind the past. “Today , do you love
me?” This is why this gospel was saved by the faith community. It was
saved for people like ourselves who also needed to know the Stranger is
on the shore of our lives as we toil with empty nets and that, above all,
the Stranger comes with a question and a challenge.
“Do you love me?” If you do, go forth from this church and love
others. Start with your family first. Give someone a second chance. Is
there someone you know who needs to be reminded that our God does
not say – Why did you? How could you? Our God says here – start
over. Try again. Try again.